Today, Veteran's Day, my gracious employer (the Federal Government) permits us a holiday to remember the sacrifices of our heroic Armed Forces. I celebrated that with about 1000 friends at a local 5K fundraiser for the Fisher House project. This charity donates houses to the government to provide a "home away from home" for the families of veterans as they receive extended medical care at VA medical facilities throughout the country. Gainesville is finally getting one of these for our vets, and today's 5K was in support of that project.
View UF 5K Route in a larger map
The race starts at the commuter parking lot just south of Hume Hall and loops around Lake Alice. This route is especially nice because there is ample parking and the University only has to shut down a very small section of one road for a short period of time (the start/finish on Gale Lemerand). The course is easy to follow and has a very nice downhill going into the finish chute. This race in particular was very well organized and supported with an incredible number of raffle prizes and a smorgasboard of food. That, and I must compliment the organizers on the nicest portapotties I have ever used (deodorized, clean, and with hand sanitizer dispensers built in)! Weather was incredible, in the 40's and I set a new PR of 18:36 for a age-grade percent of 69.71% (so close to >70%)! Good enough to win my age group as well.
Army officers and enlisted did an excellent job as the road marshals and we had three handcyclists, some representing the Central Florida Chapter of The Paralyzed Veterans of America. Based on the number of participants and supporting organizations, I am sure that the race raised thousands for the Fisher House but I will have to check with Barry for a tally next week.
Thank you veterans!
Update 3/31/2012: I forgot how old I was when I calculated my age grade %, at age 33, I managed to get over the 70% mark at 70.16!!!